So – how long can you store scion wood?
Great question. I’ve wondered how long scion wood can be stored without giving up the ghost… and now I know some can last a LOT longer than you’d think.
Check this out:
It’s amazing what you find when you’re cleaning out the refrigerator.
Those Illinois Everbearing mulberry scions have been in the crisper drawer since FEBRUARY.
BTW, if you’re NOT subscribed to my YouTube channel, please go and subscribe here. I’m posting a lot of gardening videos and building up the channel!
Now – back to the topic at hand!
Storing Scion Wood
The big thing with storing scion wood is to keep a proper moisture content. Too wet is a bad idea – and too dry will kill it even quicker. You’re balancing between rot and desiccation.
Steven Edholm talks about his storage and shipping methods here.
This spring he took the time to talk grafting with me for an hour or so and really filled in the gaps in my knowledge, and for that I’m very grateful. I tend to learn a lot through experimentation but I’m still always hunting for mentors on topics I haven’t mastered. It’s good not to reinvent the wheel. After doing dozens of grafts, I feel quite confident in my ability so I figure it’s time to start sharing my knowledge here… but Steven has done zillions, so just keep that in mind.
As you’ll see in the video, I simply spritzed the mulberry scion wood with water so they were slightly damp, then stored them in a plastic storage bag in my fridge. I have a feeling they’d keep all the way until spring if I let them. It’s amazing how resilient dormant trees can be. I found out their power by doing bare-root transplanting this spring before bud break… you could just pull a peach tree out of the ground, knock the dirt off the roots, then pop it in another hole and it would live. I did it. Do that in summer and they’re toast.
Don’t be afraid to start grafting – it’s a lot of fun and leads to sweet results, as revealed in these amazing plums I harvested this summer from an improved plum wood scion I tacked into a Chickasaw plum tree last spring!
Start planning ahead for spring now… and you’ll reap some sweet results!
Hi David. Thanks for the shout out to my scion storage thing. Storeability really varies by species that’s for sure. I store peach nectarine and almond scions as short as possible, and they still desiccate on the tree pretty often. Some are much more or less rot prone too. Bottom line from my observation is we’re usually better off with no standing water in the bag for long term storage. Wood shavings or coarse sawdust is better than paper if something is going to be added, because it still has anti-microbial properties and will be more hesitant to grow mould. Conifer shavings are probably good if they are available, since they are sometimes rot resistant. I have some damp cedar sawdust that I keep in the fridge for storing seeds and scions that I think need it. Always damp, not wet. It also never hurts to soak the freshly cut butt ends in water overnight to plump them up after long storage.
does tis work for avocado scions?
Probably, though I have not tried it.